Soldiers humiliate DICON staff protesting non-payment of allowances

Soldiers on Monday beat and arrested staff of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) who staged a peaceful protest against non-payment of their allowances.

The civilian DICON workers had earlier, within the last six months, carried out similar attempt to press home their demand for payment of their six months peculiar allowance, minimum wage arrears since 2019, and promotion arrears for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Thus, as they assembled for the protest at the Kakuri factory of the Corporation, the soldiers who were allegedly drafted by the management to prevent protests within the facility, pushed the protesting staff away from the gate, to the nearby Monday market.

In the process, the soldiers who were armed to the tooth, beat up one of the protesters, who was using his mobile phone to record the protest, while another protesting staff, a civilian security man in the factory, identified as Bala, was also arrested and taken into custody by the armed soldiers.

Addressing journalists, the workers who also lamented their lack of enrollment into the IPPIS scheme, said they were suffering in their service to Nigeria through DICON. 

They therefore, demanded immediate payment of their full promotion arrears for 2020, 2021, and 2022, and their peculiar allowance to cushion the removal of fuel subsidy, among other demands.

According to the protesting staff, “We are only here to let the management and the Federal Government know how we are being treated as civilian staff of DICON. This is because we discovered that all agencies under Ministry of Defence have been enrolled into IPPIS, only DICON staff have not been captured. But you can see how our member was beaten and another taken into custody by soldiers.”

They therefore called on the Federal Government to intervene by directing the management of DICON to respond to their demands and to stop victimising staff members who voiced out their concerns regarding the mistreatment and denial of their rights.

When contacted, the DICON Public Relations Officer, Musa Yakubu, responded via a text message, by simply saying, “sorry sir, I’m not on ground thank you”.